Did I ever tell you about that time I traveled to a different country just to RUN? Oh lol, that’s what this post is about. Here is my recap of Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver Half Marathon
Me and the hubs decided to make a little road trip out of our racecation to Vancouver B.C. Since we have a few races to travel to in the next 2 months, trying to cut cost where ever we could is our best option. We thought it might be fun to act like roadies, load up backpacks, and transform the back of our SUV into a full size bed with a memory foam mattress and all! Fortunately, for us it is so close, only 2 hours away. Perfect opportunity to save money and see a city in our own vehicle.
Here was the plan-
Get to Vancouver and head straight to packet pick up.
Find the nearest camp ground facility to park.
Find a local grocery store, to grab breakfast before the hubs 10k race and my half the next morning.
Get daily passes to a community gym to shower after the races.
Tour downtown Vancouver after each race and eat, on the go and as clean as possible.
PACKET PICKUP/ EXPO
Got to the expo for packet pickup right before it closed with just a few mins to spare, but we were able to walk through, quickly. I found our info, I gotta admit it felt mighty good to see the hub’s name with me on the bib number board. If you didn’t know my husband never used to run with me, support my running, and we spent a little less than half of this year separated, so this is a big change. This is our very first weekend alone in a long time.
The expo was pretty small, way different than the Seattle expo, which was like a mini fitness convention. We had no problem only being there for less than a half hour, everything was set up well and flowed directly to the exit. I stopped by the main sponsor tables (Power Bar, Alaska Airlines, Oasis, and Garmin) and headed right for Nuun, obvi. #teamnuun I even had a chance to check out RYU apparel, I happened to see them hosting a class in their store while in Vancouver. Great gear, stylish and functional. Have you heard of them? They totally have that edgy vibe I love.
I am pretty sure the only thing I had to miss was the Brooks merch shopping, because there just wasn’t time. Though, the specific event gear is always amazing, we live near the Brooks headquarters, so I can get the latest shoes and clothes anytime I want!!! <If you are ever in Seattle, we can go for a run and swing into the trailhead store> I snapped a picture in front of the map just in time for the last exit reminder.
We headed out to start our crazy adventure. What a ride we had in store.
I was eager to get to sleep and test out our cool SUV room set up! I told you before that we made our whole backseat into a queen sized bed, it was actually comfy and super fun to just drive around and “camp out” where ever we pleased. We found food and a bathroom at the local whole foods 2 blocks away, so we felt prepared. I am lucky enough to have some good advice (Thanks Ariana and RNR local staffer!) as where to park since we could never find the actual camp ground before it got dark. Adventures with me often include getting semi-lost but actually being around the corner from where we should be. I am fun. Totally not scary.
RACE DAY (hubs)
The next morning came quick after being up half the night setting off our own car alarm off…turns out, I have long legs and like to kick the tail gate in my sleep and make it think someone is breaking in. Oh goodness, I am a mess. We got up and changed at the Whole Foods after we had a simple fresh breakfast. Hubby was running the 10k (that morning) so we stuck with eggs, banana, and a few skillet potatoes. We had quite the time finding the seawall, so glad we made sure to head out way too early. Plenty of time <insert rolling eyes> to meet up with some of the #rocknblog crew and snap some photos.
After I cheered the hubs off, I got totally lost trying to find my car! Lost alone in a new place, isn’t fun and IS totally scary. Thankfully, I stumbled into a coffee shop…I promise it was a total accident and I didn’t plan it. But while in there I got an amazing mocha and meet a sweet old American man who opted to live in Canada because our government was too crazy for him ( I could write a whole other blog post on our convo, but I won’t, I hate politics) He helped me figure out where I was and I got my google maps involved from there! Lucky, I remembered passing a fence with fish art on it. Okay so I took a picture of it, same difference.
Sadly, I missed the hubs crossing the finish line, but only by a few seconds so I found him right away. I was quite flustered and overwhelmed, and to make matters worse he wasn’t feeling well. He was in a lot of pain in his legs (they cramped up really bad) so headed straight to a local swim/athletic club (another great tip) to get cleaned up before we headed out to sight see. Pretty quickly we realized it was due to his lack of food in his system, when it didn’t stop after he rested and took a hot shower. Ooops, we had quite the walk to get to where we saw the restaurants. Poor planning is only crappy in these moments.
We did get a little bit of good news!!! We happened upon a hostel (same one I almost booked that sold out) as we left the aquatics center on foot to tour the city and it had 1 room available! YAY US! We knew it was a pretty penny, but at this moment sleep was gonna be mandatory for me before running distance. I snagged the room and we dropped the car off (free parking) and started back to our trek across town.
One of the coolest things about Vancouver is that I could walk from the seawall all the way to the convention center in just about an hour, so we had plenty of time to see the city on our way back and forth. I saw beautiful walls and I love how charming the city streets and architecture is, it has many Seattle like vibes with a European influence. How was it like home? Well first thing I noticed were all the trendy boutiques, health food options, recycling/composting, and of course, the “green” stores. Seems to be a hip spot with a very diverse community, a melting pot if you will.
Though, I have to be honest Seattle definitely is more foodie friendly, with much more of an awareness of gluten-free plant based options. BUUUTTTT, I was able to find MELU, I have followed them on Instagram for a while!!! My juice lovin’ healthy food fueling heart was so happy! I got turmeric milk, fresh cold pressed juices, infused waters, and power bowls! I even got some gluten free cookies to carb load on. Excuses excuses lol. I am secretly planning another trip so I could go back to MELU! I was hoping to get into Seawheeze, but nope missed it AGAIN <threw a little tantrum> this year. So looks like I will have to come up with another race or adventure.
After we were full and rested, we were ready to find the next mornings start line. On the way we found a macaron and tea store called Soirette for midday dessert, it is totally a thing after a race! Except I didn’t run, so score for me!
I took some fun photos at the pier, because who doesn’t handstand when they see a ginormous orca? PNW girls do!
And don’t forget fun street style shots for my insta!